The New Strain

February 16th – March 15th
Opening Reception: February 16th, 6-8 pm

Tarryn Teresa Gallery is pleased to present new work by Miami-based artist Julie Davidow. 

A self-described “frustrated scientist”, Davidow has been collecting specimens from the organic and inorganic worlds for her entire life.  Motivated by an endless curiosity for the natural sciences and the systems that govern its functions, her paintings and drawings explore the relationship between these systems and the affect mankind’s existence and coinciding interference have on nature. As a result, Davidow’s imagery is drawn from biological, sexual, botanical, geological, cartographic, and architectural influences.

The exhibition consists of new paintings and drawings, including a site-specific wall drawing which connects the entire space and body of work.  The co-infectious relationship between man and nature is explored in Davidow’s work, as each piece takes the viewer on a web-like journey through the natural evolution of growth and the infectious process. Each painting is a snap shot – a momentary glimpse of interaction. Biomorphic abstractions seep off the canvas and onto the walls, evoking various organisms glimpsed in a moment of transition, growth, reproduction, mutation, and conflict.  Much like mitosis, the work references a point which expands and grows.  It also appears to evolve through an intricate grid like system, spreading at a virulent pace.

The vivid color palette – a purposeful diversion from the insidious subject matter – now includes acid and fluorescent colors, as well as interference pigments suggesting the spectrum of color found in butterfly wings, bird feathers, beetles and sea shells. Earlier work was more pastel colored, but Davidow’s choice for an increasingly fiery color palette is timely, with the world in conflict, and the human footprint inescapable, the earth is undoubtedly a heated place.  Intensified colors and more dynamic, complex visual maps are tempered with masses of flat color, referencing both the built environment encroaching on these systems and the subsequent retreat of regions considered too remote to be affected.

The web-like background of her paintings is created from a series of folding. The un-stretched canvas is painted with a layer of white gesso, and folded according to a predetermined composition. This ground invokes the body, creating a “skin” on which the organisms and infectious agents evolve. Ghosts of cellular changes are revealed in the skin – previous battles won or lost; the scars of conflict. These “ghosts” could also be indications of that which is emerging and stimulated by invasion.  Most importantly, it is the history, the underlying architecture of the painting from which creation occurs and grows outwards. This creation is an intelligent force, referring to anything that has the innate ability to grow. The grid, which could also be described as a map of space – both real and conceptual - is fundamental to the overall work.  It forms a complex and symbiotic relationship with the paint on its surface. Much like the topics her work explores, the artist’s process and final product are also interdependent. We see cells, rivers, veins - even neurological webs, but regardless of what these images may or may not evoke, there are continual connections and oppositions. There are labyrinths of connectivity which relate to the fundamental order within chaos.  Microcosm and macrocosm. Creation and disease. Creation, both positive and negative is a relentless force and Davidow’s work embodies this sense of unchecked growth. The implications on the body and the earth are vast and almost incomprehensible. Each painting or drawing could be occurring under a microscope or the depiction of vast solar systems in an infinite universe.  

About the Artist

Julie Davidow received her BFA in painting from the New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida. She lives and works in Miami Beach, where she is currently an artist-in-resideance at the ArtCenter | South Florida. She has exhibited in numerous galleries and museums including the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC, The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, NC, and the Tampa Museum of Art in Tampa FL. Her work is held in private collections throughout the world. In addition, Davidow is the co-author of “Miami Contemporary Artists” a book surveying over 100 artists who have helped bring the cultural evolution of Miami to fruition.

For more information, please contact the gallery.